Teenager accused of stealing items and holding them for ransom - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Teenager accused of stealing items and holding them for ransom

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Daniel O'Neal. Source: Gibson County Jail Daniel O'Neal. Source: Gibson County Jail

A teenager in Gibson County was arrested after police say he stole items and then held those items for ransom. 

18 year-old Daniel O'Neal is charged with theft and resisting law enforcement.

Oakland City Police say this isn't something they typically deal with. They say the suspect stole a few items on Valentine's Day, and then contacted the owners a few hours later saying they could have them back, as long as they paid for them first.

"It kind of sounded far fetched originally," Oakland City Police Chief Alec Hensley told 14 News. 

The whole ordeal was even more shocking for Lois Leslie.

"I always check the computer for the weather so I can tell my son what to wear and I realized the computer was gone," Leslie said. "Where's my cell phone? It was gone. I told my son to go get his computer so I could use it for the day. It was gone."

As a police report was being filed for the two computers, a phone and medication. Her son received a text came from the stolen phone with a proposition. 

"To bring him $80 for my phone and he would put it behind the caged basketball field at the school," Leslie said.

Police and sheriff's deputies decided if this was true, they could catch the suspect.

"They said stay with my son, and he pretended to take money and put it where the guy told him to. The guy texted back and told him to leave the vicinity, so he didn't get seen," Leslie said.

In the meantime, Chief Hensley was waiting in a wooded area in front of the basketball courts.

"There was a person dressed in camouflage, hood over top, kind of like a mask on their face. They saw me and when I went to approach him, he took off running," Chief Hensley said.

Police say O Neal ran through the field and was arrested on Walnut. One computer has been recovered.

When asked why he needed the money, O'Neal only said for personal reasons.  

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